The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the situation and the developments in the Dutch economy. It uses thirteen key macro-economic indicators. Together, these provide a coherent macro-economic picture which is based on CBS figures published over the past month or quarter. It does not represent the situation at the level of individual households, businesses or regions.
Consumer and producer confidence down
In September, consumers were less confident than in August. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers also declined in September. Both consumer and producer confidence are above the long-term average.
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Exports, household consumption and investments growing
The total volume of goods exports grew by 2.5 percent in August year-on-year. Growth was higher than in the previous month. In August 2019, exports of petroleum and chemical products increased in particular. On the other hand, exports of electro-technical equipment was down again.
Dutch consumers spent 1.7 percent more in July 2019 than in July 2018. This is a higher growth rate than in the previous month. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishings and household appliances.
The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.4 percent up in July 2019 relative to the same month last year. This was particularly due to higher investments in buildings and machinery.
Manufacturing output again lower
The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.8 percent down in August 2019 compared to the same month last year. Output declined for the sixth consecutive month.
Number of bankruptcies hardly changed
The number of corporate bankruptcies has hardly changed. There were 4 fewer bankruptcies in September 2019 than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.
Number of jobs continues to grow
In Q2 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 42 thousand to 10.675 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 201 thousand. This is an increase of 0.4 percent.
The number of jobs has grown for five consecutive years. Since Q2 2014, it has increased by 947 thousand. This job growth peaked in Q4 2017 at over 71 thousand.
The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached over 3.4 billion in Q2 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.5 percent more than in the previous quarter.
The number of unemployed according to the ILO definition rose by 7 thousand per month on average over a period of three months to reach 321 thousand in August 2019. This means 3.5 percent of the labour force (aged 15 to 74 years) were unemployed, up from 3.4 percent in July.
In Q2 2019, the number of job vacancies rose to a new high once again: 284 thousand, up by 6 thousand compared to the previous quarter. The number has grown in each consecutive quarter for six years now. There are currently three times more vacancies than at the lowest point in 2013.
Due to the decline in unemployment and increase in the number of vacancies, tension in the labour market has risen to a new high. In Q2 2019, there were on average 93 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q1 2019, there were 88 vacancies per 100 unemployed.
0.4 percent GDP growth in Q2 2019
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4 percent in Q2 2019 relative to the previous quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to investments in fixed assets and household consumption. GDP grew by 1.8 percent relative to Q2 2018.
On Thursday 14 November 2019, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment over Q3 2019.